With the calendar rolling over into August, it’s time to get the human children ready for school- get those school supplies, shop for that new wardrobe, and schedule the carpool! But what about our furry children? Surprisingly, back to school time can be a time of stress for our four-legged children.
For nearly three months, our dogs have had someone home most of the day. While the kids (or teachers!) are home, they had someone to play with for most hours of the day, someone to take them out for frequent walks and potty times, and someone to snuggle with. Your days are about to become busier, more hectic, and longer (all those after-school activities!).
Heading back to school throws a huge wrench in our dogs’ routine which can be hard for some dogs, especially puppies who haven’t gotten to experience an empty house during the school year. So, what can you do to make this time of year a bit less stressful?
- Start taking daily trips to slowly get your dog back into the groove of having an empty house- Think about whether or not a crate or confinement needs to be arranged and start implementing that into your departure routine. And have lots of long-lasting chews ready to keep your pup occupied.
- Get their schedule back to normal- I remember when I would have about 2 weeks left of summer, my dad would slowly make me go to sleep closer and closer to my school-year-bedtime. Slowly adjusting my schedule made that first night (and morning) of back to school even easier. Do the same for your dog! If they’re going to have a different eating or sleeping schedule, slowly get them on track.
- Find time for walks or other interactions- Having kids back at school is tiring! But don’t forget to take some QT for your pup. Walks, snuggle sessions, or quick playtimes is all you need!
- Find ways to mentally stimulate your dog- I say this in almost every blog! Get your dog using his noggin! Use food puzzle toys at mealtimes, teach your dog a new trick (no matter how old they are!), play hide and seek the treats, or stand in the front yard for 5 minutes and let them sniff. Mentally engaging your dog has such great positive ripple effects. Trust me, it’ll pay off!
- Hire a dog walker! We’ve got some great walking and playtime options for you to choose from. This can give your dog a much-needed break in the day and add even more companionship.